Jess Ilse 20th May 2021
The Duchess of Cornwall wrapped up her two-day visit to Northern Ireland with a visit to an equine therapy charity.
At Horses for People, Camilla met its founder, June Burgess, and senior staff and horses, and those currently taking workshops.
According to Clarence House, Horses for People has been running workshops since 2013 to help people with stress, to team build at their workplaces, and to increase resiliency.
Participants learn about themselves and others and how to process their feelings, behaviours and patterns,” per Clarence House.
“We work with people so that they can experience the power within themselves and apply that to their career and life,” reads the description on the charity’s official website.
June was inspired to start the charity after she “discovered that many others had recognised the mental and physical benefits of this combination, with horses as faciliators and that particularly in USA, Horse Assisted Coaching and Equine Assisted Learning was widely recognised as an effective approach for corporate leadership training and life skills.”
Horses for Peoples’s equine therapy workshop works to introduce activities that will require participants to exercise certain skills including non-verbal communication, creative thinking, problem solving, trust-building, and assertiveness. The workshops aim to teach participants more about themselves, “their behaviours and their reactions and discovering how they can stand in their own power and thrive regardless of challenges or circumstances.”
The charity’s website notes that many of its equine therapy clients are veterans who need support in re-adjusting to civilian society, and, since the coronavirus pandemic began, care workers.
The horses are mostly former competitors who’ve travelled throughout the UK and Europe, and “are now taking life easier but enjoy the workshops almost as much as their competitive days.”
Before leaving, Camilla viewed a demonstration at the lunging pen and saw a horse being shod.
The Duchess of Cornwall has visited the charity ‘Horses for People’ on her second day in Northern Ireland. The charity provides ‘equine therapy’, offering courses to help people deal with stress and increase their resilience.
“I was antsy to touch the horses. June encouraged me to mount. She assured me that I had the skills I once believed I had. She directed me to ride. I rode. I rode in the way I yearn to ride — to feel the way I yearn to feel.”
Hypnotherapy for nervous riders – via ZOOM – from Ballygraffan, Northern Ireland. June Burgess, leadership coach, horse trainer and Eventing champ agreed to use me as a test case for equine-specific hypnosis. My issue is anxiety when trying to push past comfort to advance in riding. The death of my husband has unleashed mini stress attacks that are foreign to me. I feel a disparaging gremlin lying in wait at the horse’s feet.
No swinging pocket watches, whirling wheels or “you are getting sleeeeepy.” June assured me the process is all about relaxation. I had doubts about my success with hypnosis. My monkey-mind brain ricochets with distracting synapses. Struggling to urge my cranky laptop to ZOOM didn’t help. Yet, surprise! The hypnosis worked. I surrendered – with a little reminder to stop rewriting the relaxation script.
I released to June’s voice. I traveled into the “mind pictures” she painted. Okay, yes, I changed the forest to a beach and random plants for lilac bushes. These images felt familiar and encouraged comfort and peace.
June guided me to an image of horses on the beach. I could smell the sea air – feel the breeze ruffling my hair – the sun on my face. I was antsy to touch the horses. June encouraged me to mount. She assured me that I had the skills I once believed I had. She directed me to ride. I rode. I rode in the way I yearn to ride — to feel the way I yearn to feel. My body responded. I had the joyous sensation of actually riding — with abandon. When June summoned me back to my laptop, I could hardly wait to ride again — for real.
Like any muscle building, this process takes practice.
Replace fear/anxiety with what is.
Recognize and embrace that nothing bad is going to happen. If it does, I can handle it.
Break the anxiety habit by replacing negative visions with “success” visions.
Have a “cinematic” approach – paint the vision of success with broad, vibrant strokes.
Feel myself riding in the “success scene.”
Breathe. Sigh. Smile.
Throw my heart into the ride and my ass will follow.
Riders of all levels fall victim to their self-created and situational anxieties/fears. Ladle on how we beat ourselves up for those emotions. How can we ride with joy – with confidence — when we slog along all that emotional garbage?
A smidgen of self-hypnosis during coffee before heading to the barn, or in the car instead of listening to Stevie Nicks will set up for success. Banish the “what ifs.” Replace them with a vision of wings on our horses’ hooves.
Give it a shot. All we have to lose is useless anxiety.
Full article on Horse Nation.
Horses for People were visited by UTV Life to find out more about our courses and what happens during the exercises.
If you have any questions or need further information you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the most interesting people to interview in the business world are those who have had a career which has followed a less-travelled path, or take diversions at various stages into unexpected territories.
A good example is June Burgess, an entrepreneur who has been a landscape architect, a property developer, a world-class equestrian, an executive coach and, as the opening quote suggests, a hotelier
Inner Horsepower (IHP) and Horse Inspired Leadership (HIL) are my offering to all businesswomen to inspire them to drop pre-conceived ideas about how to be successful, connect with their authentic selves and recognize that they have all the strength and ability to step into leadership, simply by being totally and unashamedly themselves. After all, there’s no competition when you are being yourself!
A woman from Northern Ireland has told how she is “honoured” at being shortlisted for a national award for her work in helping veterans through equine therapy.
June Burgess (53), from Comber, is in the running for a prestigious Soldiering On award, which honours the Armed Forces community – serving personnel, veterans, their families and organisations which support them. There are 13 categories in total, and June is among those short-listed in the Animal Partnership Award. Read more here.
A COMBER woman’s belief in the power of horses to help people connect better with others has led to her being nominated for a major national award.
June Burgess has been shortlisted for a prestigious 2019 Soldiering On award.
June’s horse-assisted workshops help veteran and existing members of the Armed Forces suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Read more here.